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One simple way the Senate could embrace the internet in 2017

Here’s how support for e-filing breaks down:

Thirty-four members of the Senate’s Democratic caucus co-sponsored the Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act in the last Congress, as did 11 sitting Republican senators.

That includes conservative Republicans — such as Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley of Iowa — as well as liberal darlings like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

Then add at least three of the five newly minted Senate Democrats — Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland. All are expected to co-sponsor Tester’s bill.

Meira Bernstein, Hassan’s press secretary, told the Center for Public Integrity that “increased transparency in campaign spending is critical to our democracy.”

Added Van Hollen: “I strongly support the effort to make the electronic filing of campaign finance reports mandatory so that everyone can easily find out who is contributing to candidates for U.S. Senate.”

Meanwhile, four other sitting Democratic senators, each of whom did not sponsor the bill in the last Congress — Sens. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Michael Bennet of Colorado, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Patty Murray of Washington — expressed support for Senate campaign finance e-filing.

“This is a common-sense reform that will also save taxpayers money,” Baldwin told the Center for Public Integrity.

“Sen. Murray plans to co-sponsor this bill when it is reintroduced,” said Eli Zupnick, a spokesman for the assistant Democratic leader.

“We plan to co-sponsor,” said Bennet spokeswoman Laurie Cipriano.

“We support the policy and have no other comment at this time,” said Casey spokeswoman Jacklin Rhoads.

Furthermore, seven other sitting Republican senators and two other sitting Democrats have previously co-sponsored the e-filing bill, some as recently as 2014.

Those lawmakers are Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, John Cornyn of Texas, Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Johnny Isakson of Georgia, John McCain of Arizona, Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire.

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